|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
SOUTH ASIA: Pakistani editorialists described Islamabad as "damned if it helps the U.S...and damned if it doesn't." Observers fretted about Kabul's promised retribution against anyone helping the U.S. They also worried that "the common man would not be supportive of the government's action due to anti-U.S. feelings." Papers acknowledged the fact that "the U.S. list of demands...had been accepted" by Pakistan, but several wanted the U.S. to know that there is "a price tag attached to this support." One pro-Muslim League editor asserted that Washington could reciprocate by helping ease Pakistan's economic troubles and by rejecting Indian requests to label Kashmiri insurgents as terrorists. Most Indian dailies tendered support for "a well-conceived American operation aimed at...the fountainheads of terrorism," but cautioned that India should be wary of offering the U.S. too much too fast. Indian commentators split sharply over the ramifications of Pakistan's counter-terrorism assistance pledge. Some speculated that it would rescue Islamabad from being "a virtual pariah," while others contended that a concerted anti-terror effort would "junk Pakistan's jihad machine...and undercut its nationhood."
MIDEAST: U.S. efforts to spearhead a global anti-terrorism movement were met with pervasive skepticism in the Arab press. Columnists pleaded for American restraint to ensure that any response would target the guilty rather than convenient "scapegoats." Blaming U.S. policies for stoking anti-American feeling, most urged the U.S. to look beyond its grief to the root causes of Middle Eastern hostility. West Bank and Bahraini writers asserted that Osama Bin Laden is, in fact, an American product that may have backfired in a horrific way. In Israel, writers pondered the potential effect of Israel's being sidelined in the global terrorism fight. One writer posited that Tel Aviv may soon have to yield to U.S. "pressures to hold the Peres-Arafat meeting" since, from the U.S. perspective, positive movement in the Arab-Israeli conflict would aid in efforts to enlist moderate Arab countries in its anti-terrorism campaign.
EAST ASIA: All dailies continued to condemn the terrorist acts but diverged on what level of U.S. retaliation was appropriate. Observers of all stripes in Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines pledged staunch support for standing "shoulder to shoulder" with the U.S. and for a multilateral response to defend "civilization," recognizing that the war against terror "is not a war that should be waged by that country alone." In contrast, "prudence," "restraint" and "caution" were the primary watch words in China, S. Korea and Vietnam, where papers remained wary of becoming involved in a U.S.-led war. Seoul's independent Joong-Ang Ilbo suggested that "instead of threatening Afghanistan, the U.S should use persuasion." Official Chinese media continued to refrain from commenting directly on the attacks, but instead quoted Western commentators who urged the U.S. to be cautious in its response. Anxiety about revenge and "fingerpointing" at Muslims was apparent in the Indonesian and Thai press.
LATIN AMERICA: Bracing for an inevitable U.S. military reponse in a "visibly more dangerous" world, editorial opinion from Monterrey to Santiago varied widely. Most writers saw no alternative but to align with the U.S. Leading, influential, independent and conservative papers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador and Venezuela came out most strongly in affirming support for the U.S. and endorsed a "solid and united front" in the fight against terrorism. Opinion in much of the Brazilian, Mexican and Guatemalan press and in a leftist Uruguayan paper was more conflicted and sometimes cynical. Montevideo's leftist La Republica went so far as to insinuate that a U.S. conspiracy--"a huge attack justifying military interventions"--was at play, because after all "the Yankees need the Arab oil to predominate." Others, instead, blamed the U.S. for inviting terrorism on its soil, for failing to see it coming and for embarking on a path that would "generate more violence." In Brazil, liberal Folha de Sao Paolo warned against "irresponsible pro-Americanism" and in another editorial declared: "If the U.S. does not admit its own capacity for carrying out evil, new bin Ladens will emerge to trouble them." Aware of its neighbor's mood, the Buenos Aires Herald advised, "Argentina would be unwise to fall in with the skeptical and cautious attitudes towards U.S. reprisals being expressed by Brazil."
AFRICA: Most believed that after the world's initial show of solidarity with the U.S., it is now time for reflection. The U.S. was asked to curb its unilateralist impulses, by writers who insisted that only retaliation within a multilateral framework would be seen as legitimate. At the same time, "pious Muslims, whose faith is being bastardized" were invited to come to the "forefront" of the anti-terrorism fight. Further, many doubted that criminal prosecution and military strikes alone would bring an end to the world's shadowy terrorist network. South African papers were prominent among those seeking to stamp out the roots of terrorism by creating "a more equitable world in which the Earth's people share in global wealth and political power."
EDITORS: Stephen Thibeault, Irene Marr and Gail Burke
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 125 editorials from 34 countries, September 13-17.
Editorial excerpts from each country are listed
from the most recent date.
PAKISTAN: "Decisions: With Utmost Deliberation In The National Interest"
Mass circulation Jang editorialized (9/17): "On the condition of abiding by the UN resolutions and not participating in a military action outside its borders, Pakistan has offered its fullest cooperation to America in the international action against terrorism. This is a decision that is in accord with the objective conditions in Pakistan. Pakistan is not alone in its conditional support and cooperation (for the U.S.). France, Greece and other countries have asked America what exactly it wants to do in its war and what solid evidence it has for taking an action.... In order to implement its decision, the U.S. should have a resolution passed by the Security Council; a resolution that should be more clear that the resolution 1383.... Allowing America to act on an ambiguous resolution could bear negative results."
"Hasty Decision To Cooperate With America"
Second largest daily Nawa-e-Waqt observed (9/17): "The Government of Pakistan has not yet told the nation as to what advantages America has offered to Pakistan for its participation in the American war, nor has it come out with a justification for cooperation in the international action. Taliban have categorically threatened an action against any country that would give bases (to America) for attack on their country. Has anyone thought as to what would happen if the elements that made America mad by hitting the World Trade Center and Pentagon directed their wrath towards Pakistan due to our imprudence, and if America would come to our rescue? God forbid, in such a situation where would the country's Jihadi organization and Madaris be standing? The common man would not be supportive of the government's action due to anti-U.S. feelings. Why create a chaos that would not be controllable by anyone? America would try to target the Jihadi camps and Madaris by declaring them training camps for terrorism. These questions should be reflected upon."
"Why Action Against Afghanistan"
Pro-Muslim League Pakistan asserted (9/17): "The American designs for a military action against Afghanistan have brought the situation in the region to a dangerous pass. It appears that America won't wait for the solid evidence coming out of the investigation into the terrorism incidents in New York and Washington.... If America thought patiently it would not be difficult to understand that Muslim Ummah [global community of believers] would consider an attack on Afghanistan as the beginning of the attack and occupation of the Muslim world. This is not just a presumption but a real apprehension, on the basis of which close allies of America, France and Britain, have said, that they support America but are not willing to go into a fight that would position them against the Islamic world."
"National Security Imperatives"
Popular Din declared (9/17): "The situation arising out of the terrorism in America has created for Pakistan the gravest crisis that it has faced since independence.... Any hasty decision made while succumbing to the terror spread by western media and chaos would be without any support from millions of Pakistanis.... Aware of the terrain in Afghanistan, the world intelligentsia is right in advising America that it is in its own interest to desist from military intervention in Afghanistan."
"Time To Use Brains"
Sensationalist Khabrain stated (9/17): "The whole Afghan nation would be up against Pakistan in the event of Pakistan's cooperation with the U.S. against Afghanistan. The Frontier Province, home of Pathans, would possibly slip from Pakistan's hand and the situation would not be different in Baluchistan. Pakistan should keep in mind...the presence of over 3 million Afghan refugees in its territory.... If we let America use our territory we will make our close and trusted friend China our enemy.... Before taking a decision we should keep in mind that world leaders are against U.S. military action against Afghanistan.... We need to think before we make a decision or repent till the day of judgment."
"Pakistan Would Also Be Targeted If It Does Not Support The U.S."
Editor Mujibur Rehman Shami editorialized on the front page of pro-Muslim League Pakistan (9/17): "Pakistan will also be targeted if it desists from supporting the U.S. India wants international anger to be diverted towards Pakistan as a state sponsoring terrorism. In this situation, Pakistan's sensitive installations can face terrible damage; the Kashmir issue will be finished forever and Pakistan's dream of becoming an economic power will never materialize. If Pakistan were made a target, Afghanistan would still not be spared. Pakistan has defeated Indian plans by announcing support for the U.S. Pakistan has come out of its isolation and now is in a position to play a global role. I f the leadership plays its cards right, Pakistan's economic troubles will decrease and Indian efforts to declare Kashmir a terrorist endeavor will fail. There is also a possibility of finding a solution to the Afghan issue that satisfies the U.S. without causing major destruction."
"The Die is Cast"
The center-right, national Nation noted (9/17): "The statement of Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar...left little doubt in anyone's mind...that the U.S. list of demands sent to Pakistan...had been accepted.... Pakistan's support is for the consensus of the 'international community' and not just for the vengeance the U.S. is seeking against Usama Bin Laden. In other words, Pakistan expects that the military action that seems to be on the cards now is not going to be by the U.S. alone but by an international force that will be assembled under a specific UN Security Council resolution.... Damned if it helps the U.S., not only by the Taliban but also by the large number of Taliban supporters in the country, and damned if it does not, because the U.S., already suspicious of Pakistan's disclaimers of its support of the Taliban, would lump Pakistan and Afghanistan together and act accordingly. The threat from the Taliban to take vengeance from Pakistan, combined with the threat of some religious parties within Pakistan, should not be under-estimated. There is, therefore, a price tag attached to the support for a military action by the U.S. All concerned, including the U.S., should read that tag well."
INDIA: "Seeking An Active Role"
The centrist Hindu opined (9/17): "Prime Minister Vajpayee, has committed India to 'waging peace' by acting in concert with the U.S. in a planned fight against international terrorism.... It is an error of judgment to openly or tacitly portray the present international crisis as an opportunity for India in realpolitik gamesmanship. For India, an arguable 'strategic card' is to
bank on America's military might to try and silence the guns of Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism during the course of a possibly total 'war' on the motley votaries of terror.... This is not to ignore two prime challenges that a U.S.-friendly India will face.... India cannot afford to be a 'soft' state by staying on the sidelines. An equally important consideration is to study how best New Delhi can cooperate with the U.S. military forces without exposing India to the consequential dangers and risks."
"Strike At The Roots"
The populist Indian Express declared (9/17): "Should India offer bases and other logistical assistance for U.S. military operations against terrorists in the neighborhood? The answer is yes. To minimize controversy and because there will be some serious consequences from such a decision it is right for the PM to consult political opinion in the country and to communicate his plans to the people. In arriving at a decision realism should count, not ideology.... A well-conceived American operation aimed at striking a crippling blow to the
fountainheads of terrorism in the region would serve vital Indian interests. There are no two ways about that. If U.S. counter-terrorist action is made more effective by the use of Indian bases and intelligence, they should be offered. More, as a partner India would be in a stronger position to ensure its own specific aims are met. Like Washington, New Delhi would like to see Osama bin Laden's network in Afghanistan wrapped up."
"Don't Jump The Gun"
The nationalist Hindustan Times noted (9/17): "India should fear any success short-term success--in the advancement of Pakistan's foreign policy goals. We should not let an opportunity to put Pakistan in the dock to be transformed into a situation where the U.S. is beholden to Islamabad (or even dependent on it, as it was in the 80's) for its help in straightening out the mess in Afghanistan.... Mr. Vajpayee must know that it is always politically difficult to offer bases to the U.S. to launch attacks against the Islamic world. If, on the other hand, the U.S. response is framed as a UN action (which it probably will be) and clearly directed at terrorism, not Islam itself, then most of the political establishment would have no difficulty in supporting it."
"Wages Of War"
The centrist, paper of record Times Of India editorialized (9/17): "We had cautioned against India jumping headlong into any military offensive planned by the American alliance in retaliation for the terrorist strikes on the U.S. Regrettably, the PM's address to the nation hints at precisely that kind of over-enthusiasm.... Not content with demanding that the world join hands militarily to 'overwhelm the terrorists and neutralize their poison', Mr. Vajpayee exhorted every Indian 'to be part of this global war on terrorism'.... This gung-ho approach is fraught with danger. Rather than adopting a measured and sober response, official India has chosen to echo the hysteria and war-mongering resounding across major world capitals.... Now that mainland America has fallen victim to terrorist violence, it has overnight become incumbent on 'all civilized countries' to contribute their mite to the American quest for retribution.... India might unwittingly get sucked into a war which is neither of its own making nor one whose course it will have any control over, not to mention the costs it might have to bear."
"Why Are We Jumping Up And Down?"
T.C.A. Srinivasa Raghavan wrote in the Business Standard (9/17): "No sooner had those planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the U.S. had sworn revenge than some of our folk started saying that this was the end of the road for Pakistan. In fact, the exact opposite will happen. Pakistan, from being a virtual pariah, will once again become the darling of America and, by association, of the West. Not just that, it will also extract a price from the U.S.--which India is going to pay.... From General Musharraf's point of view, it is a godsend, an opportunity to re-ingratiate themselves with the U.S. and the West. They have grabbed it with both hands."
"Why A War Against Terror Has Pakistan Terrified"
Associate editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri observed in the nationalist Hindustan Times (9/17): "The tables seem to have turned. A rehabilitated Pakistan is reportedly making demands of the U.S. Lift sanctions, talk Kashmir. Indians wonder if Osama bin Laden has not magically healed an ailing U.S.-Pakistan relationship. The equation is complex. What tilts it towards India is that the issue for the U.S. is not Bin Laden, but the entire architecture of terrorism. As a cornerstone of that architecture, Islamabad may find it difficult if the U.S. converts it into rubble. Pakistan is an unwilling ally. And Washington knows it.... Musharraf did not volunteer to help, he was coerced. Which is one reason the US has not accepted any of the demands Pakistan has made of it.... Islamabad's providing bases will earn it brownie points but not a special bond.... Offering the U.S. bases was small stuff, yet it's giving Musharraf migraines.... In essence, Islamabad will be asked to junk its jihad machine, reduce its regional influence and undercut its nationhood."
"World War Against Terrorism"
Tamil Dinamani opined (9/15): "PM Vajpayee's open support to President Bush's steps is not only natural but also will enhance India's role in Asia. India, which has been experiencing the carnage of terrorism in Kashmir, can very well understand the atrocities of terrorism in the world. But at the same time, Pakistan's support to Bush's crusade is surprising. Because it is an open secret that Pakistan is at the back of all terrorist attacks in Kashmir. General Musharraf has agreed to cooperate with the U.S.. One has to wait and see whether he will stick to his promise, because the terrorist groups in Pakistan support not only the Taliban, but also Bin Laden. I ndia's support to the U.S. is wholehearted. By this support, both the world's strongest democracy, the U.S. and the largest democracy, India have a very rare opportunity of being on the same side."
"Terrorism In Kashmir No Different From Terrorism In The U.S."
The Mumbai edition of right-of-center Gujarat Samachar declared (9/17): "While supporting the American fight against terrorism, India should not lose sight of the fact that the nature of terrorist violence in the latest attacks in the U.S. is the same as that in the Kashmir valley aided and abetted by Pakistan. Though PM Vajpayee has made a mention of this similarity in his letter of support to President, the American administration has maintained a deafening silence. The U.S. thinking seems to be clear--it would try to use its old ally Pakistan against the Taliban, and if that gambit fails India will always be there to enlist unconditional support! India, therefore, needed to be cautious while extending any support to the American initiative against terrorism, and to ensure that India's interests were safeguarded first in this regard."
BANGLADESH: "Muslims Do Not Mean Terrorists"
Independent Prothom Alo commented (9/17): "The way the western media is provoking the U.S. people by pointing the finger at Bin Laden is very discomforting for the Muslim community living over there. Why should one bear the blame for others? There is no basis for the idea that Muslims are synonymous with terrorists. The anti-Muslim sentiment that has emerged in the U.S. cannot be supported.... If Muslims in the U.S., the melting pot of races and religions, are harassed or suffer from insecurity just for their religious belief, then it cannot boast of being a democratic nation. We hope that world leaders will take firm action against hostilities to Muslims in the name of preventing terrorism. The U.S. administration must take the responsibility for providing security for the Muslim community."
"The U.S.' War Preparations"
Independent Prothom Alo editorialized (9/16): "We think that it would not be a prudent approach to strike different places hastily in the name of the campaign against terrorism. A long-term strategy in needed. Is there no risk of civilian deaths in places where the U.S. is planning to strike? Putting civilians at risk while launching a campaign against terrorists cannot be supported at all. We think that instead of making any rash decision, the U.S. should
investigate, identify those responsible, and take action against the terrorists in accordance with the court's verdict."
"U.S. Reprisal And After"
Pro-government Bhorer Kagoj argued (9/16): "A military attack on Afghanistan may quench the U.S.'s desire for revenge. But will the U.S. be able to score the final victory in this struggle? It seems not, because pro-Laden extremism may spread further as a result. The so-called clash of civilizations may take a protracted form. Therefore, the United States and the Western powers must realize that a political solution is better than a military conflict."
ISRAEL: "Arafat's Call-Up"
Senior columnist Hemmi Shalev wrote in popular, populist Maariv (9/17): "It does not matter that [the U.S. administration] could not stand [PA Chairman Yasser Arafat] a week ago, because history, from its perspective, began anew on that dreadful Tuesday of demonic terror in New York and Washington.... [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon's demonstrative appeal this weekend to American Jewish leaders, in an effort to get them on his side against the Administration's pressures to hold the Peres-Arafat meeting, is surely reviving bad memories for Papa Bush and to his son as well. Perhaps Sharon hasn't heard yet, but Bush junior, who is now getting stronger, is not the way he used to be."
"Don't Be Insulted, Don't Push"
Senior regional commentator Oded Granot wrote in popular, populist Maariv (9/17): "How will it look if the United States declares war on bin Laden and leaves Israel, its natural ally, out? It's normal to feel insulted. This feeling has a place in relationships between human beings, but not between nations.... Neither...[is it the time] to try to push Israel's way inside the club."
"Ricochets Would Fly On Israel"
Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (9/17): "[Israel] is banned from being on the front-line, because a conspicuous Israeli presence could prevent the Americans from building their coalition; on the other hand...ricochets from that war would come flying on Israel."
WEST BANK: "Afghanistan Is The Victim"
Hafiz Barghouti opined in semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (9/17): “NATO is still awaiting the U.S. answer regarding the place, date and nature of the retaliation. There is no final confirmation that Bin Laden is behind the attacks, and there is no final confirmation on the identity of the perpetrators and those who sent them… Afghanistan was a field for experiments between the Soviet and Capitalist camps. It was, in fact, one of the first causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union.… Unfortunately, the West has left Afghanistan as a prey for warlords after having used it to wear out the communist giant. Then, instead of rewarding the people of Afghanistan, the West left them exposed to the remains of the different weapons. Today the developed and civilized world is committing the same horrific and grave mistakes in Afghanistan, which has become a clear example of the harshness and cruelty of a world that only cares about its own interests. So, will the Western countries globalize justice or will they globalize terrorism? This depends only on the wisdom of the American leadership.”
BAHRAIN: "Arabs Should Not Host The WTO Meeting"
Semi-independent Akhbar Al-Khalij published this view (9/15) by intellectual and opposition
leader Abdulrahman Al-Nuaimi: "Any international or American military action against Bin Laden and Afghanistan will not succeed in eliminating the roots of terrorism. It is very well known that many of the leaders of that trend (Bin Laden group) were trained by the CIA to fight the 'communist danger' during the Cold War era and now have turned against Washington and begun waging military attacks against its military bases and embassies... If the world really wants to preserve security and stability and confront terrorist movements and countries, it should treat the reasons which led to this phenomenon instead of treating its current results.... When millions of people in the world get pushed to the brink of death because of the catastrophic economic polices of the West and intrusive regimes, many movements that are opposing the barbaric globalization will be produced.... So long as the American administration stands behind the number one terrorist state (Israel), establishment of an international coalition
that includes Sharon and Peres will be simply a coalition to terrorize the world. The Arabs must not join such a satanic coalition. Arab countries should not host the WTO meeting."
"U.S. Looking For Justice Or Scapegoats?"
Semi-independent Akhbar Al-Khalij ran this comment (9/13) by Ms. Tiflah Al-Khalifa: "What message does this incident send to America? The messages are: No one is safe from terrorism and depending on force alone does not provide full protection. Justice is needed inside (the U.S.) and outside in order to have peace and security prevail. So, will the United States act in this spirit or will it look for a scapegoat to pour its anger upon? The American administration's way of handling this problem will decide the future of the world. If there is justice, there will be security and if there is state terrorism there will be more terrorism by organizations. We should decide what future we want for the world."
EGYPT: "Whom Is The American Giant Fighting?"
Leading, pro-government Al Ahram's columnist Mohamed Salmawy held (9/17): "This is not the greatest terrorist attack in history as Americans said. The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was more horrible and the victims were double. However, this is certainly the biggest sabotage operation against a country, especially that country of massive power, which has been unjust to many countries in the world. In our Arab world, Iraq, Libya and Sudan suffered from foolish American military acts. The United States is also responsible for what is happening to Palestinians by American-made weapons and planes. Thus, we condemn the loss of innocent Americans, as we condemned the brutal acts against Palestinians. What is reassuring is that the American official response seems to be wise, not favoring other military foolishness. When the dust settles and the perpetrators are discovered, the United States should have a clear vision to realize that the real reason behind this operation is American policies. The United States should have the courage to admit that. Then the giant will know that it was not fighting crows in the dark, but only its own actions."
"Contemplation In The Big Apple Incident"
Leading pro-government Ahram's columnist Abdel Moneim Said maintained (9/17): "With great contempt, Israel exploited the blood of the innocent victims of New York and Washington, to achieve its own purposes first by blaming Palestinians and then by directing brutal and barbaric attacks on Palestinian cities. In fact, some Arabs assisted Israel. The demonstrations of Arabs rejoicing over the American calamity seemed tantamount to an Arab admission of guilt for the crime. Thank God, political and media men became aware of this trap and the Arab attitude
changed overnight. Arafat went to donate blood and his students stood in mourning over the American victims. The Big Apple story has not ended (but is only the beginning)--just as Pearl Harbor was the beginning of the end of the World War II, and the terrorist attack in Luxor was the beginning of the end of terrorism in Egypt. Undoubtedly Egypt will have to make difficult decisions: While our domestic situation was the cause of our troubles, regional circumstances added to them, and now an international situation is imposed to which end only God knows."
Moderate, leading opposition Al Wafd's editor-in-chief Magdy Mehanna held (9/15): "To rid the world of terrorism one must first get rid of the (underlying) causes which led to terrorism. Real terrorism is what Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Is the United States willing to do anything to stop this terrorism? How does the United States describe what happened in Durban? The world should write down its definition of terrorism so that the United States would not dictate its own definition. The way the superpowers exercise their veto is a form of terrorism. I do not exclude WTO from committing terrorism by imposing its programs on the smaller countries. Globalization may drive certain people to form organizations which strongly oppose these unfair policies. What kind of terrorism is the U.S. talking about and massing the world to combat?"
KUWAIT: "New York And Washington, A New Phase"
Shafeeq Al-Ghabra, director of the Kuwait Information Office In Washington, wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-Aam (9/16): "These terrorist operations woke up the American giant, which had become dormant following World War II.... As is the case with all wars, there will always be the risk of confusing Arabs with terrorism or Islam with terrorism.... There is also the risk of confusing the justness of the Palestinian cause with the suicide operations undertaken by some Palestinians in Israel.... The terrorist operations have engaged the Arab and Islamic worlds in a new phase, whose dimensions we are yet to comprehend."
"The Real Arabs And Muslims"
Ahmed Al-Jarallah, editor-in-chief, wrote in independent Al-Seyassa (9/15): "Today, no one can object if America decides to strike Afghanistan if it is behind the terrorist attacks. Neither can anyone object if America aims a sounding blow to Iraq.... The whole world stands by the United States in its efforts to thwart terrorism on the condition that it does not adopt a policy of double standards.... The real Muslims and Arabs are those who denounced the attacks, offered their assistance, and expressed sorrow and grief for the death of innocent victims. The real Arabs and Muslims want security and safety for America because they know that America has an international economy shared by all and that America is a superpower whose power, if used justly, can protect everyone."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Biased Cooperation In Combating Terrorism"
London-based, internationally circulated Asharq Al-Awsat offered an op-ed by editor Abdulrahman Al-Rashed (9/17): "The U.S. administration and its Western allies should understand that they cannot prevent handing over suspects wanted by small countries, while at the same time expecting these countries to cooperate in chasing, arresting and handing over suspects who may have conspired against Washington, London, Madrid or others.... Without impartial cooperation, all this talk will disappear when this noise is over."
"Israel Outside Of The Alliance"
London-based, pan-Arab Al-Hayat opined (9/17): "The United States has specified for itself an enemy: terrorism. The United States believes that the cooperation of Arab and Islamic countries is crucial to the eradication of this enemy, to the point that it is ready to cooperate with Iran to achieve its ends. Therefore, inclusion of Israel in the alliance would undermine the alliance.... In any case, the Israelis would be mistaken if they do not acknowledge their direct and indirect responsibility in breeding terrorism."
"Terrorism And Resistance"
Dammam-based moderate Al-Yaum held (9/17): "There is a big difference between terrorism
of the bad kind which all religious condemn and combat, it and the person who scarifies his own life in order to get rid of injustice, occupation and domination. Israel is trying to confuse this issue after the attacks in the United States through appeals to public opinion. Israel is trying to relate the legal Palestinian intifada to terrorism.... Resistance to Israeli occupation is legal as noted in documents that have international legitimacy.... The United States, which was harmed from the latest terrorism, and public opinion should differentiate between terrorism and resistance.... The real terrorism is what Israel is doing to unarmed Palestinians."
"Israel's Nastiness In Taking Advantage Of Human Tragedies"
Riyadh-based, moderate Al-Jazira opined (9/16): "A part of the international effort to combat terrorism must be directed toward eliminating state terrorism, which is exercised by Israel. The world must be aware of and distinguish between the victim and the aggressor. The world must
also point to the aggressor by its true name.... When Sharon rejects a meeting between Arafat and Peres, he is actually taking full advantage of the wave of animosity against Arabs and Muslims following recent incidents. We have seen how words like 'terrorism' and 'terrorists' are frequently repeated by Sharon, whose hands are still covered by the blood of Sabra and Shatila."
"Ariel Sharon Is Osama Bin Laden"
London-based, pan-Arab Al-Hayat ran this commentary by former editor Jihad Al-Khazen (9/16): "If Osama bin Laden was behind the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, then he is a legitimate target for the international alliance.... Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not terrorist organizations; they are liberation movements.... The resistance of these Islamic organizations to all forms of Israeli occupation is absolutely legitimate and must enjoy continuous support until Israel withdraws from all occupied territories. If the United States had stopped the terrorism of Israel, counter-terrorism would have ended automatically. It is a reaction to the terrorism the United States supports by weapons, money and veto power at the UNSC.... It is also ugly that nations such as Iraq, Iran and Sudan and even Syria may become possible targets of the American campaign.... We assert that terrorism is what Israel is doing, and that Ariel Sharon is another Osama bin Laden."
SYRIA: "Misleading People Won't Do Israel Any Good"
Bashar Saati, a commentator in government-owned Syria Times, said (9/17): "Israel is not only exploiting the sad tragic events and human suffering in the United States to escalate its war of annihilation against the Palestinian people, but it is also directing the impact of those regrettable tragic events to deliberately serve Israel's monstrous expansionist and racist designs. At a time when the world is occupied with the horrible attacks on Washington and New York and the horrifying crimes against the American people, Israel has started its campaign of lies and accusations against Arabs and Moslems even before the U.S. investigations have been concluded. Sharon was the first to fabricate and spread these lies and accusations in an evil attempt to mislead others and incite them against Arabs and Moslems alike. Sharon even told Americans that both the U.S. and Israel suffer from the same source of terrorism.... When it comes to terrorism, Israel is at the top of the list of terrorism. Israel is the only source of danger in the region."
TUNISIA: "With Respect For International Legality"
Co-editor-in-chief Noureddine Hlaoui penned this in independent French-language Le Temps (9/17): "The U.S.' apparent intentions after the attacks against of the WTC and the Pentagon, consist of striking strongly and in a spectacular manner all the countries that helped and protected the supposed instigators of the attacks. For the moment, and even in the absence of irrefutable proofs, the guilty and his protector are all designated. It happens to be Osama Ben Laben and Afghanistan. Pushed by an impatient domestic public opinion, the U.S. leaders are in a status of war.... After the legitimate and comprehensible fervor of solidarity and compassion, from the international community with Washington, now is the time for consideration.... Most of the countries do not want to be involved in an unknown and ambiguous adventure; though the American strategy seems to be looking for a green light to act freely.... Even if the United States is willing to punish the author of the terrorist attacks,...it should avoid any hasty reaction and should opt for a considered action based on international legality and general agreement. It is within this order of ideas that the majority of the European and Arab countries fully agree...
"Political And Moral Baseness"
Senior editor Jameleddine El Hajji wrote in the independent French-language Le Quotidien (9/15): "Though President Bush's administration called for Americans to control themselves and not to harm Muslim or Arab Americans, information continues to come out about humiliations and physical and moral attacks against a number of Muslim and Arab Americans. This wave of violation is not spontaneous.... In an interview to VOA, the American economist, Linden Laroche has warned the United States against easy solutions and improvisations, referring strongly to Israeli attempts aimed at putting the United States in a war status against the Arab-Muslim world. Will Sharon succeed in manipulating the United States with this political and moral baseness?"
U.A.E.: "Remove The Causes, And Terrorism Will Be Removed"
Abu Dhabi-based Arab nationalist Akhbar Al-Arab held (9/15), "No one would blame the American administration for punishing anyone it believes to be guilty. The entire world has condemned the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington and people have expressed regret and sadness for the innocent victims. All countries have also demonstrated unprecedented cooperation with the United States to put an end to terrorism. However, that right to strike at terrorism, and the solidarity and regret (expressed), do not eliminate the origin of the problem, which is the need to study the causes from their roots. In this situation, cutting branches and not roots does not help; new branches, more resistant and with more fruits, will grow. The size of the tragedy cannot be answered with vengeance, although the perpetrators deserve every punishment. The whole problem should be studied under a microscope with the help of the entire world."
"Arab States Must Have Their Say"
Wondering about the objective of the new coalition against terrorism, Sharjah-based Arab nationalist Al-Khaleej editorialized (9/15), "Although American officials have stated that Bin Laden is the main suspect on the list, it still includes other groups or countries, some of which will be revealed through investigations, while the other part, and this is what matters, will be defined according to the American interests and policies, and the eyes are likely to focus on the so-called rogue states.... Therefore Arab and Muslim nations must have their say and mark the limits at which others must stop."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "A Tale With No Happy Ending"
An editorial in the business oriented Australian Financial Review (9/17): "So far so good.
Pakistan's apparent decision to offer assistance to the expected U.S. military assault on Afghanistan represents an important step in assembling the sort of multilateral coalition which is needed to deal with last week's terrorist attacks.... The United States is right to target Pakistan in its campaign to build international support for a war against terrorism.... The key to U.S. success in its quest against this particular source of terrorism is likely to be support from an otherwise unholy alliance of India, China and Russia, all of which fear the radical Sunni Islam
emanating from Afghanistan. But China's treatment of its Muslim minorities does not represent the sort of solution to this issue that is an international model for democracy like the U.S. or Australia."
"A Time To Act Together"
The liberal Melbourne Age declared (9/17): "It is encouraging that a broad alliance has already gathered to pledge support for President Bush. Unity is a sign of strength and the best way to combat international terrorism is with a coalition of international and American interests. Too much is at stake for the Americans to go it alone now and much can be gained from garnering forces and intelligence from many quarters.... What happened in America last week affected not just the United States. Australians too were killed in these terrible attacks. Dozens of our citizens are still missing, feared dead. Australia's response cannot be to stand back, offer sympathy, and little else. There must be a coordinated and well-thought-out response to what happened, and Australia has a real role to play in that response."
"A New War In A New Century"
An editorial in the leading liberal Sydney Morning Herald observed (9/17): "It is, President Bush says, the beginning of the first war of the 21st century. It is, however, an undeclared war, with an enemy so far undefined yet the only one to have struck a blow. Yet it is a war to which Australia is already committed.... Australia must indeed stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States. But it must also stand with those in the United States whose understanding of the danger facing it--and indeed the world--is wider than the thinking which relies purely on military responses to problems which are not purely military."
"Region Faces Test Of New U.S. Priorities"
A comment from regular political columnist Glenn Milne in the national conservative Australian read (9/17): "The key strategic question for Australia is what the new shape and direction of the US will mean for our traditional alliance relationship.... Despite Howard being first out of the blocks to support Bush, that backing has received scant, if any, mention in the U.S. media. The almost exclusive focus has been on Tony Blair, the European Union and NATO. That's despite Secretary of State, Colin Powell, singling Australia out for thanks at a State Department briefing. A clue to George W. Bush's thinking about our part of the world came during some throwaway remarks with Howard in the White House Rose Garden. He referred to our part of the world as 'the Far East.' That tendency towards a sense of physical and policy remoteness will only be reinforced by Bush's new, and totally proper, preoccupation. For that reason, stand by for a significant commitment from Australia to the current struggle, should Bush ask. Howard will want our contribution to be noticed--and for good national interest reasons."
CHINA: Media Treatment
As has been the case since September 11, Chinese mainland newspapers continue to carry coverage of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, but with the exception of the
English-language China Daily, have largely refrained from commenting. Today, China Daily decided to speak through quotations from Western commentators who urged the U.S. to not be hasty in its response. A minor paper, the Chinese-language Science and Technology Daily, blandly commented that the attacks show up the weakness of the American security systems.
"Act With Caution And Prudence"
A story in the official English-language China Daily read (9/17): "As the United States moves on almost every front to prepare for a military response to Tuesday's gruesome terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, it is urged by voices outside the country to be cautious in choosing the way to respond. Some, including the EU's law enforcement arm, expressed
concern over the weekend about rushing to judgment on Bin Laden. Juergen Storbeck, the director of pan-European police force Europol, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that a wide-ranging investigation was required to avoid bringing the wrong people to account.... French Defense Minister Alain Richard said on Saturday care should be taken to ensure that the response to the U.S. terror attacks did not provoke yet more instability.... Costa Rican Nobel laureate Oscar Arias also urged caution and prudence on Saturday.... Meanwhile, anti-war sentiment is simmering in the U.S. Activists in Atlanta demanded on Saturday that Bush rule out military retaliation. Carrying signs that read 'Stop The U.S. War Machine' and 'No More War,' about 100 protesters said the blood of innocent people would be on the U.S. Government if it launched military strikes on Afghanistan and other countries believed to harbor suspected terror networks."
"Terrorist Strikes Indicate Serious Hidden Trouble In U.S. National Security System"
Sun Peishu commented in the Science and Technology Daily (Keji Ribao, 9/17): "Sun Peishu, president of a Chinese company in the U.S., said that the terrorist incident in the U.S. has fully revealed serious defects in the U.S. security network system. Besides the pain of seeing the tremendous loss of lives and economic damage, the U.S. will have more pain in its security network.... The September 11 incident is merely a brush-fire strike. However, if a war is launched on America's information network, no one can estimate how much the loss will be."
JAPAN: "Japan Must Give Sufficient Help To U.S. Military Strikes"
Business Nihon Keizai's senior writer Ina observed (9/17): "Japan should hardly stand idle by Tuesday's horrific terrorist attacks in the U.S. The attacks were not a tragedy that befell not just the U.S. but the entire world. They were the first deadly terrorist attacks--not acts of war between nations in a strict and traditional sense--on the American nerve centers of defense and economy. Perpetrators of the attacks must be feeling a sense of accomplishment but at the same time entertaining a rising sense of fear over a subsequent showdown with the United States, the most powerful military power in the world. If Japan fails to give sufficient support to possible U.S. military retaliatory strikes against those responsible this time around, it would likely become isolated from the rest of the international community."
"Japan's Role Vital In Battle Against Terrorism"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (9/16): "The battle against the terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of thousands in the U.S. is not a war that should be waged by that country alone. It is a war that must be fought jointly by the international community to meet the challenge against peace, freedom and democracy. Japan must fulfill its duty as a member of the democratic world to fight terrorism and win.... Japan faces its biggest trial since the Gulf War, because large-scale terrorist attacks pose a serious threat to international order in the 21st century. Japan's role should not necessarily be limited to providing financial assistance and supplying materials. As a major member of the world community, Japan should make its diplomatic presence felt at the UN and G-8 meetings to help bring about a consensus to fight terrorism and create a united front against terrorist organizations."
INDONESIA: "Indonesia, The U.S., And Islam"
Muslim-intellectual Republika noted (9/17): "For Indonesia, the visit [of President Megawati] will constitute an opportunity to extend our condolences directly to the United States. We are saddened to see so many civilians falling victim in the attacks. We respect the path of peace and would never tolerate any form of terrorism, by anybody on any behalf.... By remaining committed to the visit, the U.S. could show the world that its system of government works normally, unshaken by the tragedy. The step will also show the U.S.'s ability to sort out issues. In the U.S, the finger pointing towards Muslim communities is intensifying, and Megawati is the president of the world's largest Muslim country. The U.S. would be able to demonstrate that it is able to distinguish between [its] views of Islam as a faith, Islam as communities scattered around the globe--including in the U.S.--and the possibility that the perpetrators of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were Muslims (although its is still possible that they were followers of other faiths.) U.S. capability to sort out these issues is very important. On the one hand, as the pioneer of democracy, the U.S. has interests in upholding all kind of faiths, including Islam. On the other hand, the U.S. is determined to revenge the deaths caused by the terrorism. This could create a sharp difference of views between Islamic communities and other communities around the world, if the revenge is carried out without accurate information, targets and operations. By being able to recognize this reality, the U.S. should place Indonesia as its closest Muslim friend in attempting to build a democratic community far from terrorism. This would also change the way the U.S. approaches Indonesia, including the way it deals with Indonesia in the economic sector through the IMF and the World Bank."
PHILIPPINES: "World's New War"
Former National Press Club president Art Borjal wrote in independent Philippine Star (9/17): "The world's new war is what it was: not only a declaration of war against America but against the rest of the Free World. The perpetrators of the attack were not only striking at the heart of the world's mightiest power but against all peace-loving nations and peoples of the world.... The U.S. will take the lead role in pulverizing from the face of the earth all terrorist groups.... Yes, the Free world looks upon America in this awesome war against faceless, cowardly enemies."
Government-controlled People's Journal (9/17) editorialized: "And so the world moves inexorably to the first war of the 21st century, and the U.S. Congress has already approved the gigantic amount of 40 billion dollars to counter terrorism. We cannot fathom the consequences, especially on the economies of the world. Yet terrorism must be exorcised. May this be soon."
Eric Mallonga wrote in independent Manila Times (9/17): "Religions leaders in the Islamic world are now coming to the realization that there is nothing holy about war and terrorism.... Who can ever justify it? In the end, one can only describe it as an act of evil and lunacy. As the U.S., condoled by most of the world, and urged by a substantial portion of its people to retaliate, ponders its next move, one can only pray for calm and reasoned thought that looks to the survival of all mankind."
"Uniting Against A Common Enemy"
The independent Manila Times opined (9/17): "In this global 'police action,' the U.S. will be relying heavily on support from its allies.... The Philippines cannot help but get involved in this looming conflict.... The question now is, what contribution can we offer to the international alliance?... During a high-level government meeting last Friday, several options were discussed. Vice President...Guingona is willing to divulge only one: offering (the former U.S. military bases) Clark and Subic as possible staging areas for a counter-terrorist force that might by deployed in the region.... Whatever form its contribution is going to take, the Philippines must show that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the countries that have sworn to defeat the forces of evil. The time for the dead is over. The hour to take up arms has come."
SINGAPORE: "Civilization Must Go On Despite Terrorist Attacks"
Asad Latif, senior writer with the pro-government Straits Times, wrote (9/17): "Terrorism cannot be allowed to win.... By revealing just how closely the security of U.S. territory is related to what happens in lands far away, the terrorists have underscored the U.S.' need to increase, and not reduce, its engagement in the affairs of the world.... Their purpose was to make people despair of civilization itself. This must not happen.... Instead, those belonging to the civilized part of humanity must come together to isolate and stop barbarian agents of terror. The United States and its friends must respond forcefully to last week's outrage. Any hesitation on this front will prove deadly. However, the response must protect the ties of kinship that bind together members of the family of civilizations, not dissolve them by excluding any religion or race and demonizing it. The good news is that civilization is prevailing.... People elsewhere ought to acknowledge the greatness of Americans and their government during this great test of their national character and their civilization. And, in the spirit of civilization, whatever form it takes in different parts of the globe, people should grieve with Americans at this terrible time. The terror and the time will pass. Civilization must prevail."
SOUTH KOREA: "U.S., Afghanistan Should Exert Efforts To Find Point Of Agreement"
Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo judged (9/17): "Instead of threatening Afghanistan, the U.S. should use persuasion. The Taliban government of Afghanistan should now come out of its international isolation.... Even if a person or group is friendly to a country, if they are accused of having committed crimes serious enough to raise public indignation, they should be handed over to the international community according to international norms.... The most useful way to find a lasting solution to problems is through efforts to resolve conflict peacefully through dialogue."
"Blessed Is America Who Endures"
Suh Ji-moon, Professor of English Literature at Korea University, opined in the independent Dong-a Ilbo (9/17): "Now is the time and opportunity for the United to restore the world's trust and ease worldwide anti-American sentiment by displaying an air of a great nation and responding in a wise and cautious manner.... The U.S. citizens' patriotism and love for their fellow Americans following the terrorist attacks were truly moving. However, the Americans, if they are really wise patriots, should try to encourage their government to act with maximum self-restraint and prudence. In addition, other countries of the world, should they consider themselves as true allies to the U.S., should ask the Americans to be cautious and humane in retaliation for the terrorist attacks while sympathizing with their grief."
"There Are No Such Things As Just War"
Moderate Hankook Ilbo judged (9/17): "Even the American anger and international sympathy cannot justify the imminent war. Like numerous wars in history, this war can be nothing loftier than satisfying the selfish instinct of taking revenge, and this is a truth witnessed through human military history. There is no precedent of war creating a virtual peace.... It should be thoroughly discussed whether it is appropriate for the U.S. to take Afghanistan, a country suspected of harboring and protecting the prime suspect in the terrorist attacks, and its innocent citizens as targets for retaliation being currently sought at the same level as war. If the international community ignores this situation and supports U.S. retaliation against terrorism in an ambiguous manner, history will record this U.S. assault on innocent Afghan citizens as another international crime. The U.S. should listen to certain views that its self-interested
foreign policy is the fundamental cause of this disaster, and reflect on itself."
"We Must Exercise Prudence In Aiding U.S."
Conservative Segye Ibo editorialized (9/17): "Given the blood-forged alliance between the U.S. and the ROK demonstrated during the Korean War and the Gulf War, no one can disagree that Korea should do its best to support the U.S. regarding the recent terrorist attacks.... It is desirable for the Korean government to brace itself for a possible war. However, we hope the government will exercise prudence by examining the views of Japan, China, and other countries and closely consulting with relevant ministries rather than making hasty decisions on ways to support the United States.... A protracted war could increase Korea's burden. The Middle East supplies oil--our main source of energy--and is a strategic area where many construction companies are doing business. We should remember that supply of combat forces could make the ROK a target of terrorism by the Islamic fundamentalists. Providing support to the U.S. to the extent that would irritate the Islamic world and could spell trouble."
THAILAND: “America Responds With Resilience”
The lead editorial of the independent, English-language Nation commented (9/17): “The U.S. system of government, and its political, economic and social structures, which are far from perfect, will continue to be the subject of debate both within American society and by the outside world. The campaign of terrorism against the U.S. is believed to be inspired by the
country’s sometimes ruthless foreign policy that many countries find repulsive. But one positive product of American society -and indeed other great democracies in the world-is the civic pride with which its citizenry lives by and the responsibilities that go with it.... Despite its racial tension and the inequality between its haves and have-nots, America as a microcosm of the world’s diversity in ethnicity, culture and religion may yet show the world how people can live together in peace and harmony with mutual respect and common human values.”
“World’s Chance To Seize The Moment”
The lead editorial of the top-circulation, moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post commented (9/17): “The correct response to military attack is often a military attack. But the response to madness is never madness. This newspaper remains hopeful that the United States will lead a rational, multilateral response to this madness of world terrorism.... The world community stands at a threshold. Members can try to put the attacks on America behind them and get back to normal. Or they can do the right thing, which is to mount an assault on the worldwide threat to their citizens. There are other battles that are important, against poverty and sickness, drugs and hate. But if we are not safe, these battles all are at risk anyway. Without full cooperation across borders, terrorists will continue to threaten all of us.”
VIETNAM: "Cannot Fight Against Terrorism By War"
Tran Nhung wrote in Vietnam People's Army Quan Doi Nhan Dan (9/17): "Political circles and people around the world are of the view that as the United States intends to fight against terrorism by waging a war, fates of nations and that of the whole world are seriously threatened and the consequences can be unpredictable.... It is the responsibility of the UN, international and regional organizations, and the whole international community to act in order to make sure that our world remain one of peace, stability and development, preventing a war and violence from happening under the guise of 'fighting terrorism'.... Vietnamese people strongly condemn terrorist acts that kill civilians. We hope the U.S. government and people can soon overcome the aftermath...and at the same time act responsibly for international peace, stability and security."
ARGENTINA: "The Next Criminal Assault"
Claudio Uriarte, left-of-center Pagina 12's international analyst, stressed (9/17): "One feature of the actions attributed to Bin Laden is his combination of a devilish genius, extraordinary audacity and unpredictability, everything reinforced with careful and long training plus huge financial resources.... Bin Laden never does the same thing twice, for which it is unlikely that his fifth attack in U.S. territory will use aircrafts again. Aside from his apparent obsession with means of transportation...there are many things that the terrorist can do and one of the easiest
and opportunist ones is the use of chemical or biological weapons.... In any event, the United States is in a race for a long and expensive war which will not last less than four months if one takes into account the time required for its special operation units to reach Afghanistan. But the first deadlines are already scheduled by the 3-day ultimatum issued by Colin Powell to Afghanistan to deliver bin Laden. If this does not happen, the air fire will start in the second half of the week. That will be the moment for the al-Qaida organization to backfire and appear as the heroic martyr defending the Islam's integrity. In this war, the main thing is still pending."
"Bush Says 'The War Will Not Be Short'"
Maria O'Donnell, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion, stated (9/16): "While Bush attempts to form a broad coalition to sustain overall retaliation, he daily increases his bellicose rhetoric and clearly addresses it to Bin Laden.... In his address there are clear signs of the language used by his father during the Gulf War, and, due to circumstances, his
strategy has been turned towards multilateralism, which breaks his tendency to make the unilateral decisions he showed during the first seven months of his government."
"The Decision To Participate Is Made"
Joaquin Morales Sola, daily-of-record La Nacion's political columnist, stressed (9/16): "We will hear euphemisms in the next hours, but the true thing is that the Argentine government has already decided to actively participate in the retaliation against the terrorist groups--and their allied countries--that turned New York in a stormed show of death and dust..... According to the classified documents in hands of the Argentine government, Argentina 'is a probable and possible target' in the new world's confrontation.... Washington sent a message to the Argentine government that the United States would like to see a common and clear position in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Protected by such international protection, the De la Rua administration will not have great obstacles to do what it has already decided to do. Still, there is a problem: war is anomalous, the enemy is not perfectly defined yet, the battlefield is changing and the confronting methods have not even been decided. The most unforgivable mistake would be to confuse terrorism with Muslim believers. The problem is not dogma but fanaticism. The other monotheist religions, Christians and Jews, have not lacked fanatics willing to confuse faith and hatred."
"Argentina, Vis-A-Vis The Crisis And War"
Leading Clarin's political columnist Eduardo Van der Kooy held (9/16): "No one knows for sure what the fate will be for the new world which tragically appeared in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against the United States.... There is only one certainty: no individual or collective behavior will be exempt from some sort of involvement. Neither Argentina will be exempt.... After the tragedy some priorities have hopelessly changed. The fear of a general financial crisis unleashed by an emerging country has suddenly been replaced by the evidence of defenselessness left by the attacks on the most powerful country in the world.... That does not imply that Argentina has been left to drift, but it will definitely find more obstacles than the expected ones in its road to recovery."
"The Dilemmas Of The New Scenario"
An editorial in leading Clarin held (9/16): "The attack against the United States has instantaneously changed the international economic and political scenario in which Argentina must manage its crisis. Even though it is still premature to establish what the real extent of that change will be, everything leads us to think that foreign conditions will be hardened.... In such circumstances...Argentina will find itself especially compelled to align itself in the anti-terrorist attack launched by the U.S. and accompanied by Europe. The country is at a crossroads and must act cautiously. On the one hand, it is apparent that Argentina cannot stay distant from the efforts of the international community to combat terrorism.... But, on the other hand, it is still
fundamental that such intervention...be made in coordination with the countries of the region and that everything is done with the opposition's consent and the congress' approval. One should remember that Argentina has already suffered two attacks from fundamentalism, at the Israeli embassy and at AMIA, probably as retaliation for its international role and that military cooperation would turn Argentina again into a target for terrorism."
"A United Front Against Terrorism"
An editorial in daily-of-record La Nacion read (9/16): "The firmness and speed with which Western political, social and religious sectors have formed a solid and united front vis-a-vis the international terrorist attacks, leaving aside disagreement, confirm a healthy spirit of solidarity in all countries identified with democracy and human rights defense.... The answer that the USG has received in this emergency, both on the domestic front and on the international scenario, has been remarkably satisfactory. We hope that solidarity will not change during the hard times ahead. We also hope that the U.S. president makes a firm, although rational and ordered use of the powers granted by Congress to him. It will be the best way to honor the support the West World has granted to him."
"Security Begins At home"
An editorial in liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald held (9/16): "Many people seem to imagine that an active Argentine role in international anti-terrorist action would take the form of sending troops and contributing in some way to the bombardment of Afghanistan or some such remote location against all the logistical odds. But in fact Argentina best helps the world by helping itself. Much tighter control of suspected terrorist havens in the Iguazu-Ciudad del Este border triangle with Brazil and Paraguay and general vigilance in the region would be a far more effective and reasonable contribution than military forays in zones well outside any Argentine sphere of influence. Yet guarding against the vicious terrorism of Islamic fundamentalism is no easy task even when confined to this region.... [I]ntroducing the armed forces into domestic security is an enormously dangerous move in the light of Argentine history. Neither option is attractive but a choice will have to be made.... Argentina would be unwise to fall in with the skeptical and cautious attitudes towards U.S. reprisals being expressed by Brazil...the tempting prospect of achieving regional consensus around this point would do absolutely nothing to unblock Mercosur and other problems with Brazil so that Argentina would simply lose U.S. friendship at a rare moment when it is inviting support without gaining much from Brazil. Regardless of whether or not external or domestic options are concerned, the time to blur or fudge is gone and the need to decide unavoidable."
BRAZIL: "Nothing Justifies Terrorism!"
Educator and author Sandra Cavalcanti commented in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/17): "Terrorist propaganda, through the media, has subjected many civilized and normal people to brain washing. Through many of these opinions, one can evaluate how contaminated those people are by the virus of terrorism! Their opinion always begins with hypocritical words of compassion. They are absolutely immoral, distort the facts and blame the victims! The truth is that nothing can justify a terrorist action.... Unfortunately, terrorism is already accepted and
justified among us, based on strange and unacceptable arguments.... The authors of these articles cannot disguise their joy in seeing the U.S. receive a deserved punishment."
Political columnist Boris Fausto observed in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (9/17): "One of the major questions which emerged after the terrorist attacks is the behavior of U.S. leaders.... Bush's questionable election emphasizes even more the leadership problem, and what he has done in eight months at the White House does not create optimism. In regard to foreign relations, Bush has fostered a policy oriented exclusively to what he considers U.S. interests, and acted as if the world's destiny were a secondary issue. Obviously I am not suggesting that the Republican policy is responsible for last week's criminal action, for it has more complex roots. I am indeed suggesting that the new situation imposes difficult decisions based on a sharper understanding of international relations... The U.S. will have to review relations with its major Allies--whose voices cannot be ignored--as well as its policy of ignoring world conflicts, especially that in the Middle East.
"Bombs On The U.S."
Rio de Janeiro's conservative O Globo (9/17): "Terrorism is not strictly a military problem, and nothing indicates that an escalation of repression can solve it. This is the weak point of Bush's narrow positions. At no time does he try to understand and explain something of the underground drama in the world of people who feel exploited, oppressed and humiliated by the U.S. The image of U.S. foreign policy as Washington's 'falcons,' the eagerness for the profits of large American enterprises abroad, the indifference to other people's feelings, all of this has been causing increasing irritation in various areas."
"He Who Creates Wolves"
A byline by Fritz Utzeriin ran in independent Jornal do Brasil (9/17): "The great truth is that the world in which we live was forged by the so-called 'civilization' that now says it has been attacked and cries barbarism. He who creates wolves should not expect to live among lambs. Bin Laden was made in the USA, trained and financed by the CIA. The same is true of the perverse, xenophobic Taliban militia. And who created Saddam Hussein, today a mortal enemy of the Americans? When they generated those wolves during the Cold War to fight against a political ideology, U.S. intelligence fed a religious ideology and let the devil loose from the bottle. And now what?"
"The American Choice"
Independent Jornal do Brasil ran a byline by university professor Antonio Carlos Porto Gontalves (9/17): "The U.S. position as world leader should not be stained by the perception that it is the leader only because it is the strongest. The world cannot be ruled by force, but rather by laws, rules, which may also help to stabilize investments, governments' actions and the economy in general."
"Attack Against The World Economy"
Economist Carlos Langoni commented in business-oriented Valor Economico (9/17): "The terrorist attack succeeded in creating economic chaos.... The insecurity caused by the action may suddenly reduce the consumption rate, thus reducing the possibility of a quick recovery of the U.S. economy.... The destabilizing consequences of the terrorist action may enlarge depending on the way the industrialized nations react to the attack... A combination of lower consumption in the U.S. and an oil price hike will certainly cause a recession worldwide. There are positive aspects, however: the terrorist attack was not capable of affecting the basis of the U.S. economy, which remains solid. Contrary to past crises, inflation remains under control in
the main industrialized nations."
"The Battle Of U.S. Recovery"
Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo commented (9/16): "A major battle, at least as important as any military action against the terrorists and their protectors, will begin when the NYSE resumes its work. The U.S. economy reaction will be more than an economic fact: it will have a symbolic value as great as it might have been for the terrorists the WTC destruction and the paralysis of the world's main financial center. The terrorists were clearly moved by a much more significant goal than the frightening killing of September 11.... If the economic response is sufficient vigorous, the challenge launched by terror may represent the beginning of resumption with positive consequences in all markets. This will depend on the other response – the military one. If it is not conducted with extreme caution, it may worsen the world economic situation, starting with a crisis in oil supply."
"The World Has Changed"
Brazilian Formin Celso Lafer writes in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (9/16): "The world has changed, causing a redefinition of the international system. The recent events will have a more incisive impact than the Berlin Wall fall, the USSR collapse and the end of bipolarity. The terrorist action affected the U.S. serenity, security sense and illusion of invulnerability.... According to terrorism’s destructive capability, the more developed is the nation, the more vulnerable it is.... Secret has always been an instrument or power. The invisible power is the one that sees but cannot be seen.... And fear regarding this type of invisible power increases as a result of difficulties to identify the enemy. This is in practice the problem with which the U.S. and the international organized community are facing."
"To Find Escapees is a Way to Give a Face to a Faceless Enemy"
Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo Paris correspondent Giles Lapouge commented (9/16): "Even if it is confirmed that Osama bin Laden is one of the sponsors of the crime, it would be naive to believe that his possible arrest will be enough to free the world from the plague. Bin Laden created a death federation whose fortresses are located in Taleban-dominated Afghanistan, but it actually has parts located in other places. It comprehends dozens of nations.... There are accomplices everywhere. Some people are eluded with the hope that the complexity of the operation in NYC would have exhausted the terrorists’ capability... [However] the ‘reserve’ of fanatics resigned to suicide or even anxious to die is large."
"Terror And (Anti)Globalization"
Economist Gustavo Franco wrote in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/16): "Bush is not facing a military aggression by a nation, and, therefore, he does not know against whom the U.S. will be in war. But he needs a war. Even if a relation between bin Laden and the attacks is demonstrated, a war between the U.S. and Afghanistan, or a ‘punctual retaliation’ may be as bloody and useless as the very attack in NYC. It is necessary to resist to the temptation of easy popularity generated by the demand for revenge. Bush is facing an historical decision, and his grandeur will possibly be in moderation rather than in truculence.... Regardless of what he will do, the attack against the U.S. should make us to reflect on the limits of political action and on the strange ‘freedom to destroy’ enjoyed by anti-globalization movements."
"The Good, Perverted"
Political columnist Fernando Pedreira comments in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (9/16): "Many of those who have said the world will no longer be the same are partially right. The political and moral climate not only in the U.S., but also in all civilized world has changed. It has become darker, grimmer and more realistic. And it will remain like this at least until the end of
this decade.... We will go through a period of conservative reaction aimed at not only permitting a tougher and more effective fight on terror, but at correcting the excesses of permissiveness that marked life in Western societies in recent years. This is a reaction that had been maturing for some time and that the Tuesday’s attack just speeded up."
An editorial in conservative O Globo stressed (9/16): "International solidarity paid to the U.S. must be extended to finances, to prevent more fragile economies from suffering any type of financial effect at this delicate political moment in the world.... Only a great desire for speculation can explain the intense demand for the dollar in the recent days. The over evaluation of the coin that's in the center of this crisis is not rational--even if the U.S. continues as powerful as before."
"History Has Begun"
A byline by Jopo Ubaldo Ribeiro in Rio'sconservative O Globo made the point (9/16): "The solution will not be found--perhaps tragically for presidents with Bush's temperament and beliefs--by the use of force. The use of force will certainly come to little or nothing...to make the world, particularly the Americans, stop feeling insecure.... On the other hand, Star Wars or not, the United States cannot hide behind an invulnerable shield, also because it has internal enemies capable of making recent damages look small in view of what may happen anywhere."
"Delinquent Anti-Americanism Leads To Irresponsible Pro-Americanism"
Josias de Souza, Brasilia bureau chief of liberal Folha de Sao Paulo, judged (9/16): "The only thing worse than delinquent anti-Americanism is irresponsible pro-Americanism. The idea that the right to retaliate confers on the United States the privilege to be the universe's moral authority is abominable. The memory of their atomic retaliation against Japan offers America the utopia of absolute security. A utopia that was destroyed along with the World Trade Center towers. Under the ruins of America's financial might is hiding the new principle of the 21st Century: conflicts are no longer ideological nor guided by economic interests. War now opposes civilizations. On one side the Christian West and its financial fundamentalism, on the other the indecipherable East and its Muslim fundamentalism.... The U.S. will have to do a cost-benefit analysis of its knee-jerk support of Israel. The U.S. is always looking for devils. The latest is Osama bin Laden, who was created by the Americans in their fight against the USSR. Eliminating bid Laden could satiate America's current thirst for vengeance, but they must also do some soul searching. If the U.S. does not admit its own capacity for carrying out evil, new bin Ladens will emerge to trouble them."
"The Flight Of The Vengeful Eagle"
Political scientist Sergio Abranches wrote in centrist weekly news magazine Veja (9/16): "The terrorist attack unified the country around a president who was losing popularity and credibility faster than any other president in recent memory. The polarization that Bush's radicalism had provoked ended when the first plane hit the WTC. The American response might be unprecedented, given the convergence of circumstances: Bush's militarism and the audacity of terrorists and other political groups fighting against U.S. hegemony. With the world on a path to recession, the terrorist actions and the predicted U.S. retaliation point to a rise in the price of oil and a reduction in global investment. Worse still is the new mood of international tension, not seen since the end of the Cold War. The world is waiting anxiously for a new global recession and the first war of the 21st century. Everything will depend on the aim of the flight of the vengeful American eagle."
"Will The Use Of Military Force By The U.S. Be Useful In Combating Terrorism?"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo's op-ed page carried a pro and con section with the following (9/15): "The pro response is given by political scientist Braz de Araujo: "For the U.S. the attacks were acts of war against the values and symbols of Americans and American society. The U.S. response will be on three levels. First is prevention, which will certainly have broad international support. Secondly, those directly and indirectly responsible will be found, tried and many executed, according to U.S. law. Finally repression, using military force when necessary. I only hope that these measures do not annul the greater values of liberty and democracy, and that this terrible crisis helps the world move towards greater cooperative security. This seems the best option for Brazil."
"The Option Of Pardon"
The con response is given by federal deputy Vittorio Medioli (Social Democratic Party of Brazil, PSDB - Minas Gerais state): "How can we eliminate the fundamentalist fanatics without leaving a trial of innocent widows? The operation must be surgical and limited to terrorist strongholds, and must go hand in hand with a diplomatic campaign to prepare the way for peace with Arab countries by bringing economic and social development to the Mideast. Billionaire Osama bin Laden, guilty or innocent, should not escape the talons of the U.S. Saddam Hussein is second on the list. But is it worth it to smash them and hang them in public? Or would it be better to gain the sympathy of their subjects and comrades by extending a hand in a sign of brotherhood? Wouldn't an evangelical pardon be better than a traditional military reaction? Washington must consider the consequences of a world economy brought down by an apocalypse. Revenge is the worst revenge. Forgiveness could open a new page in human history. It's up to Americans to have the courage and wisdom to turn that page and initiate the first chapter in the greatest (peaceful) revolution of human history."
MEXICO: "Don't Loose Target"
Ximena Paredo mused in independent El Norte (9/17): " The U.S. media has stimulated a psychosis that could have been avoided. It seems they have joined Bush's bellicose policy sponsoring an exaggerated nationalistic emotion that leads to a generalized desire for vengeance.... This situation is even more dangerous than that of the terrorist attacks and the U.S. media is partially responsible, though in reality, for such terrorism there is no appropriate punishment.
Monterrey's leading, independent El Norte carried a commentary by Alfonso Elizondo (9/15): "President Bush's pharonic-like project regarding the anti-missile shield is inappropriate and out of style. After the end of the Cold War, internal and external intelligence structures have been relaxed to the extent that they have lost the control over the infinite growth of new immigrants and radical organisms that conspire against countries, ethnic groups, religions and ideologies inside U.S. territory.... The U.S. is not at war as President Bush and other bellicose leaders said, since it does not even know who the enemy is and maybe will never know. What happened was the consumption of a cruel and spectacular revenge by one of the U.S.'s many enemies and who probably is already comfortably settled in U.S. territory."
Karen Batres wrote in Monterrey's El Norte (9/15): "Since war implies suffering and sacrifice, the pro-Palestinian and religious groups that support them are willing to die as martyrs and saints in favor of that ephemeral but certain victory.... The U.S. and many others have adopted the same speech under the same mental scheme by declaring a war against the responsible terrorists groups (and the countries that host them).... A Catholic priest interview in CNN said:
'This is a war between good and evil.'"
"The Answer To Terrorism"
Monterrey's leading El Norte carried a commentary by Rafael Ruiz (9/16): "U.S. arrogance has not let this country understand that despite its achievements, it is only a part of the world and there are many issues where it requires the support and help of the rest of the planet.... The facts are clear: If we think like the terrorists themselves, that is in terms of pain and destruction andnot of freedom and understanding, they will continue being stronger than us. We need to think differently in order to beat them."
Monterrey's leading El Norte carried a commentary by attorney Javier Livas (9/16): "The U.S. intelligence community has made a series of mistakes in terms of planning the anti-terrorist strategy.... It was a mistake to assume that the bomb incident in 1993 would have been the last attack against New York's Twin Towers..... Taking a look into the future, it would be another mistake to assume that killing Osama bin Laden and his partners will end terrorist actions.... In conclusion, the biggest mistake we can make is not explain our assumptions and let them act as if they were immutable and certain truth."
"Terror In A Global World
Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra wrote in independent Reforma (9/14): "The initial response by President Bush has been prudent. Far from going at it alone as the punitive phase approaches,
the U.S. will seek the support of NATO and of the UN in its potential military response--which could be very violent if the support of any State to the terrorists is proven."
"Response To Barbarism"
Adolfo Aguilar Zinser stated in independent Reforma (9/14): "Terrorism is increasingly approaching barbarism. It is an expression of irrationality. It destroys human lives, infrastructure and people's patrimony. The greatest damage terrorism can inflict has to do with its impact on the values of human coexistence, freedom, democracy and tolerance. Terrorism must be defeated with the strength of moral reason, the rule of law and international solidarity."
"The New Wars"
Rafael Segovia asserted in independent Reforma (9/14): "On the basis of an atomized world full of racist differences and exclusionary values, the worst possible crimes could take place, particularly if the person who perpetrates them holds a fundamentalist religious belief. Facing this world is the task that the U.S. has ahead.... Now that their might is all over the world, the Americans are also exposed to everything that happens around the world, particularly because they have the most porous borders in the world."
"Another Price To Pay"
Sergio Sarmiento writes in independent Reforma (9/14): "The bloody terrorist actions in the U.S. will have important consequences for persons who have nothing to do with the events. Security measures will be heightened.... But the worst consequence is that individual freedoms could be restricted. If this were to happen, then the terrorists would have achieved precisely what they wanted because individual freedom is the main enemy of political and religious fundamentalism."
"The War Against Nobody"
Editorial in left-of-center La Jornada stated (9/14): "President Bush said yesterday that Tuesday's brutal attacks against the U.S. had marked the beginning of the first war of the 21st century.... The terrifying aspect of this situation is not that the U.S. is at war--actually, the U.S. has been involved in (military) a great deal of conflicts in its own history--but in this case there is no identifiable enemy in sight. Terrorism is too vague and imprecise a category to have as its product war.... If Washington and its allies become convinced that Osama Bin Laden is responsible, and carry out a military attack against Afghanistan, then the 'eye-for-an-eye' principle will have been established. However, the twin goals of preserving the rule of law and the elimination of terrorist threats would not have been achieved. As a matter of fact, the rancor that the U.S. has sown in several parts of the world would grow even faster.... Further, the easiness with which Arabs and Muslims have been finger-pointed in the U.S. could lead to racist actions that would generate the pinpointing of persons in the U.S. The moral degradation of that nation--a development that would be as tragic and despicable as Tuesday's attempts."
Luis Javier Garrido asserted in left-of-center La Jornada (9/14): "Are the attacks against the U.S. going to further fascism in U.S. policies, or are they going to be a call for attention so that the peoples and governments are aware of the disaster that neo-liberalism is leading everyone to?.... The fundamental question is not who launched the attacks but why they took place. The attacks showed that the U.S. system is vulnerable, and they have brought about a loss of confidence in the U.S.' authorities and in its political, economic and social system. The attacks could even make the U.S. and others reflect about the impossibility of continue to build the well-being of a nation on the exploitation of most of the planet."
"Terror: From The Middle East To The Western Hemisphere"
Francisco Jose Paoli stated in nationalist El Universal (9/14): "Every single time that the image of the planes crashing into New York's twin towers is shown, the message of the terrorists and their cause is also disseminated.... It is patent that Osama Bin Laden would not admit publicly that he had anything to do with the attempts, even though he has justified them as legitimate actions.... But regardless of who is responsible, the American people will never be satisfied after the destruction of thousands of innocent lives. What one can foresee is that the actions to dismantle the groups that favor genocide terror will increase. They are likely to affect other innocent people-we are already witnessing the attacks on Mosques and other Muslim facilities in the U.S. and in its allies.... Reprisals will do nothing more than to extend the Middle East conflict to the Western Hemisphere."
Demetrio Sodi stated in nationalist El Universal (9/14): "President Bush's declaration of war against those responsible for terrorism is logical, but not very rational. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attempts. So, who is the target of the U.S. declaration of war?.... Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. became the world's policeman; thus the target of any terrorist attack. The U.S. cannot renounce its political and military power, and now it has-more than ever-the justification to act with all its might. However, were they to do it by themselves, without the support of international organizations, they would only increase their chances of being the target of international terrorism. Even though it would seem that it does not make sense, the U.S. should stop being the world's policeman and seek international solidarity so that everybody - not only the U.S. - would fight terrorism and organized crime."
CHILE: "After The Horror"
Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion editorialized (9/14): "The feeling begins
to sink in that nothing will ever be the same, and that defense and security issues will have to be redefined to confront a threat that until now was not perceived by the international community in all its horrifying dimensions. The sense of vulnerability affecting the United States, the planet's most powerful nation, is too overwhelming.... Today's international scenario, characterized by political and economic convergence among the most powerful nations, will allow the United States to focus on recovering from this devastating attack.... The entire world is hoping for the U.S government to act with sufficient calm so as not to commit irreparable mistakes. Beyond any political differences... the immense majority of human kind expresses today its sentiment of solidarity with the American people. And that is the foundation for a global front to defend human life and act against terrorism."
"The Value Of Life"
Leading financial Estrategia reflected (9/14): "The criminal attack on the United States is an attack against all citizens of the world who believe in and defend the right to live."
COLOMBIA: "Time For Solidarity, Not Racism"
The lead editorial in top national El Tiempo stated (9/14): “President Bush’s and Secretary of State Powell’s recent remarks dispel any doubts about whether the U.S. will [unilaterally] punish those responsible. Pursuing the terrorists will be a collective, almost universal proposition, and will not lack sincere and firm support.... However, nothing could be more dangerous at this moment than a ‘hunt’ for human beings inspired by xenophobia and racism ... In order for the crusade against terrorism to be efficient and just, it must under no circumstances be confused with a crusade against Arabs or Islam.”
"World War III"
An op-ed by military analyst Alfredo Rangel top national El Tiempo judged (9/14): “The United States has lost the innocence of its Post-Cold War dreams. Any belief Americans may have had that they were safe...has come to an end. Feelings of invulnerability and confidence ended forever.... The brutality of the attacks will force [Americans] to respond harshly.... Thus, the immediate future will witness massive retaliations abroad, including thousands of dead which the terrorists will claim as justification for new attacks. [In the United States,] security will take precedence over civil liberties [and] defense priorities will change. U.S. public opinion will not see a clear need for an antimissile program that would protect the nation from theoretical conventional attacks, but be ineffective in thwarting a real terrorist threat. In addition, following the inevitable retaliations abroad, the U.S. may retreat into isolationism, a strain of thought always latent in American hearts. This may provoke a deep and painful domestic debate over what role the United States ought to play in the new international order.”
In the words of an op-ed by in top national El Tiempo by former Treasury Minister Rudolf Hommes (9/14): ”The immediate consequence of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday will be a decisive political turn to the right in the U.S., which we fear.... We hope [America’s] defense of democracy does not destroy its foundations.”
EL SALVADOR: "The Value Of A Nation"
Moderate La Prensa Grafica reflected (9/14): "What happened last Tuesday morning was not just a U.S. tragedy; it constituted an affront against the entire civilized world.... The attack on U.S. society has been devastating; but the immediate (result) that one notes is the extraordinary disposition of the people and their institutions. Despite the unprecedented impact, the country has not gone adrift. Rather what one can immediately perceive is an intense dynamism, as much in the investigations into what happened as in the rescue efforts
and attention to the victims, as well as the progressive normalization of all activities and the continuation to make decisions at the highest levels. It is impressive that once the first moments of stupor passed, the United States went ahead, demonstrating its vitality and the organization that put the country on the front lines of contemporary history.... Party leaders have reiterated that which is a long U.S. tradition since its founding: in moments of crisis, differences are put aside in order to attend to the greater interests of the country. This logic, which must characterize a fully functioning democratic system, is what has kept the United States in the vanguard of the world for so long."
GUATEMALA: "Beyond Imagination"
Editorial board member Luis Morales Chua writes in his column for moderate leading Guatemala City Prensa Libre (9/16): "The attack on New York and Washington shows that there are people in the world like these suicide pilots willing to destroy humanity on the altar of religious sentiments or ultra-radical political ideas. One of these days, someone could show up in some corner of the world, using nuclear arms against his religious or political enemies, and destroy the rest of humanity. One of the...great problems created by the attack on the United States is that other terrorists could imitate the attack in other countries. In the last century, political ideologies were one of the sources of local and worldwide conflicts. Now in the 21st century, it is once again certain religious sects that fire guns and throw bombs... Since ancient times, religions have been the motive and pretext for wars. But now it is time for that to end. They cannot grow at the cost of the lives of others. The name of God cannot continue to be used to kill."
"By The Grace Of God"
Columnist Hector Mauricio Lopez Bonilla writes in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/16): "Although we cannot deny the impact this situation is going to have on different markets, principally in the area of finance, the reality is that the critical mass that the United States possesses in economic, military, technological, and cultural terms is not going to be altered by this stupid immolation of innocents. On the contrary, the possibility of leading a multinational coalition against international terrorism is already a fact.... The statement that has had 10 years of attacking the United States 'by the grace of God' has drawn a picture of Bin Laden for the world.... By the grace of God, Western civilization, with its great errors and immense virtues, has been founded over the ages on the basis of the principles of liberty, tolerance, and solidarity. This world view has permitted spiritual leaders of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity to be able to unite to pray together with a sole purpose. By the grace of God, only in the exercise of liberty and free will can there be found a clear distinction between good and evil."
Columnist Conrado Alonso writes in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/16): "I do not dispute the right of the U.S. government to react to the provocation. But will it do so in the name of God? Osama Bin Laden's finances have no doubt that buying arms to defend Islam is a religious duty. He thanks God for having permitted him to buy nuclear and chemical arms.... Will God be victorious? We are not under the shadow of a possible war of the galaxies, but war between gods, provoked and sustained--and this is what is wrong--by men who invoke different gods.... After man has finished...may God--some God-- bring about a new world order that is more human, from which terrorists of all stripes disappear."
"Toward Another Vietnam?"
Columnist Haroldo Shetemul wrote in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (9/16): "If the fall of the Berlin Wall announced the end of the 20th century and the Cold War, the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington welcome in a new century that finds us uncertain about what humanity can expect.... The calling up of 50,000 U.S. reservists for a large-scale war brings to
my memory the horror that was the conflict in Vietnam. Certainly Bin Laden, the presumed author of the terrorist attack, is lodged in Afghanistan, and the United States can well launch all its fury against that country, with thousands of Afghans, dead of hunger and without blame for what a fanatic does, will be those who pay with their blood. The conflict might extend to neighboring countries such as Tajikistan and Pakistan, because the Taliban have threatened to export violence. The problem is that the United States and its allies could face the terrible reality of fighting against an invisible enemy. And in mountainous territory like that in Afghanistan it is easy to fall into the net of guerrilla war.... Pain for thousands of deaths must not blind the United States to the difference between justice and vengeance. A political exit from the crisis of terrorism goes by way of a definitive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as a broad world alliance to combat the terrorists, shutting off their economic sources and bringing them to international courts. Otherwise we could face a catastrophic time, because violence engenders more violence."
"Critical Moments For Humanity"
The lead editorial in conservative, business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno judged (9/16): "Attention is centered now on how to conduct the battles in two fundamental areas and which should take the lead: military force and the diplomatic campaign. In both fields, Bush has to guarantee success, because he knows how ominous it would be for the United States and for the future of humanity if it loses the war against terrorism. The U.S. president thus faces the dilemma of whether to try to change governments or to modify the conduct of those governments. Both tasks are so difficult as to try even the power of the United States, and require the application of military force on a huge scale. The list of countries that support terrorism is extensive. One also must consider the nature of the enemy and sanctuaries where he is hidden. This explains why diplomatic strength is needed in addition to military force.... In any case, the consensus is that...a prolonged war is guaranteed.... This is the juncture in which the United States and the rest of the world find ourselves, facing a clear panorama in which war will come at any moment. The geographic dimensions, scope, and consequences are still obscure. May God illuminate the American leaders and those of the entire world in such critical moments in the history of humanity."
"Neither Vengeance Nor Terrorism"
Columnist Miguel Angel Albizures wrote in influential El Periodico (9/15): "What will be the U.S. government's response? They might try to take an eye for an eye with similar acts or seek justice for crimes against humanity, thus avoiding the possibilities of a worldwide conflagration.... No matter what the attitude of the United States, it is urgent for form at the world level a common front for peace and against the Third World War. We understand that this means more than putting a stop to terrorism in any of its manifestations, but requires finding and punishing those directly responsible and not the people who have always been the innocent victims of the reaction of those who suffer attacks as a consequence of policies carried out at the global level. Let us remember that violence generates more violence. Now is the hour for all--including the United States--to understand and work to build a world of peace, of harmony, where sharks no longer eat sardines and the powerful do not exploit the weaker. For that reason, the peoples of Latin America --and their governments--should not align themselves more to negative American policies that seek subjugation of other peoples, because this only brings serious consequences for humanity. This fact shows that fundamentalism and any kind of fanaticism--be it political or religious--is a danger and a threat to human life."
URUGUAY: "Thoughts After Two Days"
Niko Schvarz wrote in leftist La Republica (9/14): "As when during the most dramatic periods in the history of the Cold War the first priority is to ensure peace in the world, to defend democracy and to fight against terrorism. This demands not to lose one's head. Unfortunately, things don't seem to be going in this direction. When still the authors of these atrocities haven't been identified and the responsibility of Afghanistan is far from being confirmed, a policy of "fait accompli" was established like when the Gulf War, or Kosovo or the invasion to Panama and the preceding ones. A disproportionate military response can lead this world to an unpredictable whirlpool. We would then be in the beginning of a third world war."
Leopoldo Amondarain wrote in leftist La Republica (9/14): "It's brutal. So brutal that can only be compared to the pain of the Iraqi parents, who saw how their children were killed at school, their elderly people at hospices and the sick at hospitals by the long-range missiles that hit Bagdad. It is the same pain of the Japanese when they saw Hiroshima and Nagasaki disappear from this world with 600,000 victims. When nobody acknowledges responsibilities is difficult to determine whom to blame and it makes us look inside the U.S. The professional and accurate way in which these attacks were perpetrated demonstrates that planning took a long time and that everything was very carefully prepared. Therefore, we may think in domestic political or economic interests, a very common issue in the United States. It might have been the case of the Kennedy assassination or the case of Pearl Harbor, which according to many well-known historians gave Roosevelt the necessary justification to intervene and to finally define the war. This is a very well known theory. Why can't this be true? The Yankees need the Arab oil to fully predominate. A huge attack justifying military interventions can be provoked and facilitated by those powerful domestic pressure groups. And at the end, by means of invasions, they can become the oil owners. It's another theory and worth while thinking. Don't you agree?"
VENEZUELA: "Confronting Dementia"
University professor Vilma Petrash wrote an op-ed in leading, conservative El Universal (9/17): "The problem is that the enemy to be confronted is not only amoral in its means of destruction, but also diffuse, mobile and anonymous.... The only thing worse than letting these acts against humanity go unpunished would be to commit acts of violence against the innocents trapped in a battlefield crossfire.... Those who live in those countries [that harbor terrorists] are also human beings and have just as much right to life as those who were in the WTC towers on September 11.... We must ask ourselves what could have caused or invoked a terror of such grotesque proportions. There are many indications that it was the injustices and international errors of the past that were the seed for the contemporary terrorist dementia.... If we want to deny terrorists new volunteers for their lethal fight, we must fight terrorism with the only weapons that will truly eradicate its causes: patience, sanity and a pluralist sense of justice."
Columnist Omar Estacio told leading, conservative El Universal readers (9/17): "The USG has thus far reacted correctly and without precipitation.... One hopes that Tuesday's devastating effects will lead the Venezuelan government to reflect on its friendship with certain regimes [that collaborate with terrorists], and even less so to include terrorists in our prayers, as our president has done."
"Hammers Against Fleas?"
Leading, conservative El Universal ran an op-ed by noted international affairs analyst Anibal Romero's op-ed (9/17): "The US should retaliate firmly against terrorism, but in such a manner that it does not respond merely to a thirst for vengeance.... An international coalition against terrorism must be built. A series of 'surgical' military actions against precise targets must be organized.... Washington has to ask all its friends, real or presumed, to define themselves, 'who's with us and who's against us?'... Hard, but effective, methods must be used."
"We Are Not Safe"
International affairs analyst Elsa Cardozo wrote in leading, conservative El Universal (9/17): "The Venezuelan government must review those with whom it associates, review its policies of alliances and building poles of power, and reconsider its underestimation of the economic and economic integration. To face the risks of a world visibly more dangerous, we expect of our government the same that is expected of the US: more multilateralism and more global responsibility."
"A New Focus"
Also in El Universal, pundit Italo Luongo-Blohm wrote (9/17): "Regarding those countries that support, collaborate or have relations with enemies of Washington, it doesn't matter where they are. The shock has been so great that the United States has decided to count its friends.... Those who have contacts with its enemies, will also be its enemies."
"Everything Has Changed"
Leading conservative national El Universal editorial stated (9/16): "Nothing will be the same in the world after last Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington. From now on a new institutional order will be established in the face of open democracies' vulnerability, with a global system to fight terrorism.... "All governments must join their intelligence capabilities to identify and adequately face their new adversaries.... It is impossible for Venezuela to be unaffected by all that is happening. We need to learn from this immense tragedy and join efforts to successfully fight political, criminal and subversive violence. Planning in democratic countries requires that we undertake the fundamental fight to eradicate poverty in the Third World."
CAMEROON: "America At War With Terrorism"
The Yaounde-based opposition, English-language twice-weekly Herald opined (9/17), "An all-out war offers no guarantee of success.... Where is the enemy?... In Vietnam, the enemy was seen and located territorially. The same for the second World War and 'Operation Desert Storm' against Iraq. But in this war the enemy does not have a fixed territorial base. It is possible to dislodge the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and capture or rout Osama Bin Laden and his men. It is also possible to identify terrorist camps around the world and strike them. With the greatest and perseverance effort it would be possible to kill culprits and bring them to justice. Then what? Does Washington sincerely believe that this approach will end terrorism, particularly terrorism directed at the American government and people? Our most honest answer is no. Bush presumes success in the end which is far, far from obvious.... In the process the will and the ability of the enemy (seem to be) underestimated. That could be fatal."
NAMIBIA: "U.S. Must Not 'Go It Alone'"
The independent English-language Namibian commented (9/14): "We would also urge the Bush administration, which has already promised swift and decisive action against those responsible and countries which harbour them, to refrain from arbitrary and massive retaliatory attacks, for those in turn, will only set in motion similar acts of this kind, and death and destruction to innocents in other parts of the world. Neither should the United States try to' go it alone.' Instead, the answer is to be found in the international community joining hands to build a democratic world which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for terrorism to thrive."
NIGERIA: "UnAfrican Act"
The Lagos-based 60 percent federal government-owned Daily Times held (9/17), "They (the
terrorists) may be mad, but there are people convinced that the path they have decided to tow is the right one and whoever stands against that path must be eliminated. These people exist in all parts of the world, including within America itself. It is on this premise therefore that we view with distaste, the reported jubilation in some parts of the country (Nigeria) over the attacks on the United States. It is incredible, to say the least, that Nigerians of this century would be rejoicing over the death of thousands of innocent people, in any part of the world. It is un-Nigerian, unAfrican and we condemn in totality, such acts."
"A Shadow On Islam"
In the view of the Lagos-based independent Post Express (9/17), "It is unfortunate that evidence available so far points decidedly to the Middle East and some Arabs as the authors of the script of horror and the actors in the terror. It is unfortunate because it casts a shadow on the religion of Islam whose ideology the terrorists have claimed to espouse. This explains the unfortunate reaction of ordinary Americans against Muslims and Islamic centers. The fallout from the attacks can only complicate the Middle East crises and worsen the plight of the Palestinians in their struggles with Israel.... All acts of terrorism must therefore be halted and, it is expected that the truly pious Muslims, whose faith are being bastardized would be in the forefront of the struggle. That needs to be done urgently."
SOUTH AFRICA: "U.S. Cannot Be An Island"
The black-owned, independent Sowetan held (9/17), "Almost everyone in the world is now agreed that America must act swiftly and decisively.... The question now upper most in many minds is what form the American response will take.... The more important concern is the impact this response will have on the United States and its relationship with the rest of the world. In recent years, the United States has tended to do as it pleases. It has acted unilaterally on a number of fronts. Most recent evidence of this was during the United Nations conference against racism.... Now, even the United States must agree that the world has changed since last Tuesday last week. It must also agree it is as vulnerable as the poorest and weakest member of the UN. Therefore, as it calls for a united global effort against terrorism, the question does arise--will it embrace the world differently and concede we are all a part of the same world?"
"Now The World Needs Vision"
The independent Sunday Times opined (9/16), "But criminal prosecution and retaliation on their own will not be able to stop this enemy. The peace and prosperity enjoyed by those in the United States and Europe can only be protected by extending it to those in the developing world.... There is no place for the petulant and arrogant manner that was shown at the recent World Conference Against Racism where his [Bush's] country's delegation chose to walk out when it could not get its way. In the case of the Middle East, Bush needs to break the shackles that tie the United States to Israel so tightly that they have undermined the efforts of all his predecessors to achieve a lasting peace in the region.... The only way in which the developed world's leaders can fight extremism and international crime and stem the tide of economic and political refugees seeking to enter their countries is to commit themselves to creating a more equitable world in which the earth's people share in global wealth and political power. The West can start by committing itself to writing off Third World debt, the biggest obstacle these nations face in extricating themselves from poverty.... After this week, the world needs its remaining superpower to forsake swaggering arrogance for enlightened leadership: leadership that seeks to ensure the long-term security of the world by extending prosperity to all its people."
"Terror Crashes Were Attack On U.S. Hegemony"
Mohau Pheko penned this in the black-owned, independent City Press' column "Nothing But
The Truth" (9/16), "It was my contention...that the real headline should have captured the attack more accurately as 'American Hegemony Attacked!'... The loss of human life should not be condoned. In this regard the United States has played an instrumental role in conducting political, economic and military terrorism all over the world.... The attack on the United States needs to be confronted with the vision of a multipolar world. This will require a new spirit of resistance, renewal and cooperation among social and popular movements."
ZAMBIA: "'God Bless America'"
The government-owned Times of Zambia held (9/15): "While the world mourns the tragedy, this so called Israel-Arab conflict calls for greater evaluation to ease the fractious relations." The editorial went on to say, "The world and regional bodies such as the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the European Union should network to fight any traces of terrorism in the member states. The countries known to harbor and support terrorists must be ostracized from the rest of civilized societies. With concerted efforts, the terrorists and their cohorts will find little territory to maneuver. The world on the other hand is closely watching to see how the mighty America will ride through the storm and exact revenge. The pronouncements so far from State Department have demonstrated maturity and composure by the American leadership and its people as they weigh all options to mete out swift justice on the thugs that have declared acts of war. The greatness of a nation or a people is well judged by the manner it reacts and deals with calamities. We have no doubt America will pull itself together and assume her rightful place on the international stage as Big Brother, to counter social injustices. May the almighty God heal the hearts of the bereaved families and give the nation wisdom to do that which is right. God bless America."